After winning every championship that there was to win during his time in WWE, Kurt Angle was drafted to the newly relaunched ECW in 2006.
Vince McMahon had brought the original ECW when it went of business in 2001, and after a hugely successful One Night Stand pay-per-view in 2005, ECW was relaunched as third WWE brand the following year.
The creation of a new ECW brand meant that the show needed star power, and it was decided that that star power would arrive in the form of an Olympic Gold Medallist.
During a recent episode of The Kurt Angle Show on Ad Free Shows, Angle revealed that Vince McMahon wanted him to be the face of the new ECW, but it meant that he would take a pay cut. However, McMahon also promised that he would triple Angle’s pay for pay-per-views so he would earn the same as he would if he were still on RAW or SmackDown.
“ECW was a very popular brand. What they were able to do with what they had was nothing short of incredible. Vince McMahon buying it and ended up putting it on air, I do understand that. I get it because it’s just another popular brand that he owns and that he’s part of. A quick story, when he decided to start ECW he came to me and he said, hey, I want you to be the face of this new company that I’m starting. I said, well, what is it? He said ECW. I said that’s ECW? He said yes, we’re gonna ramp it up and I want you to be the face, but I’m going to tell you this, you’re gonna work in smaller arenas and make less money. I said why would I want to do that? He said don’t worry, I’ll take care of you. So what he did is I would do the house shows and the TV, and then the PPVs Vince would triple my pay so that I would get the same money as I would if I was on Raw or SmackDown. So he would triple my PPV buy pay to make up for the TV and house shows and the money I made there. So he did promise that and he did go through with it.”
Despite the fresh start, Angle who had now been dubbed ‘The Wrestling Machine’ would leave WWE just three months later. After a very short break, Angle re-emerged in TNA the following month, where he would add another glittering chapter to his career.
Angle famously attended an original ECW event in 1996 which ended with the crucifixion of The Sandman and Angle threatening to sue ECW owner Paul Heyman.
H/t to Fightful for the transcription.